Picture of diligence
Mathura Viswanathan's determination to excel was evident both in her approach and dance.
Mathura Viswanathan Photo: R. Shivaji Rao
When a young dancer can keep up her morale despite the preceding inaugural function running an hour behind schedule and the incessant rain keeping the rasikas away, it speaks volumes of her commitment to the art form. Mathura Viswanathan's spirit and dance reflected this commitment. There is certain studiousness in her effort, a determination to excel, in fact. This collegian is a disciple of A. Lakshman.
Besides a natural aptitude, she exhibited a strong foundation in the basics with excellent footwork, grace and timekeeping skills acting as primary buttresses. The only shortcoming in such a show of diligence was the absence of araimandi.
The offerings that evening gave the dancer enough opportunity to display her skills. The Gambhira Nattai Mallari in Misra jaathi Triputa taalam provided a vibrant start, but some of this momentum was lost in the subsequent Dikshitar kriti `Aananda Natana Prakasam' (Kedaram, Misra Chapu).
The tightly-knit theermanams in the raagamalika varnam, `Aatkolla vendum aiyyane,' scripted by mridangist Vijayaraghavan and tuned by vocalist Hariprasad, brought back some of this tempo. The pure dance passages were lively, with rhythm and movement complementing one another. The nimble and well-rehearsed movements of the dancer were reflected faithfully on the mridangam by Vijayaraghavan. Lakshman conducted the recital with reasonable accuracy.
Andal's yearning for Krishna was well documented in the bhakthi-sringara composition. Hariprasad's raaga switches were seamless, as was his adept handling of the raagamalika in the mukhtayi swaram. His unhurried style and mellow voice only accentuated the pathos that Vijayaraghavan enhanced beautifully on the violin. Jayadeva's Ashtapadi `Mugde Madhu mathana' in raag Peelu personified the sakhi forcing Radha to go to a waiting Krishna. Mathura captured her sense of urgency, but with more energy than warranted. The Maand thillana, a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman in Adi taalam was a thrilling finale, the complicated eduppu being the focus of all attention.
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